The SCA Eagles hosted the Payson High School Longhorns on Saturday evening, February 1. Coach Bob Fredericks sent out seniors Jordan McDonald and Hayden Hancock, junior Kathryn Dick, and sophomores Brooke Hancock and Savannah Cardona to face their Class 3A opponents.
Savannah Cardona's three to open the game showed good promise, but SCA found the going tough early against the bigger, faster Longhorns who patrolled the paint and swatted away inside shot attempts. The Eagles enjoyed good success against the Payson press, but once again struggled to convert their lay-ups, negating the excellent passing that led to many open looks until Savannah Cardona finally carved open the defense for a press-breaking shot. Conversely, the Eagles' press led to quick baskets for Brooke Hancock, while Hayden Hancock was eventually able to get loose inside to score, and SCA was down 11-9 after the first quarter.
With Jordan McDonald in foul trouble for the second period, sophomore Lily Richardson's entry passing set up inside scoring looks for Brooke Hancock and Hayden Hancock, and Kathryn Dick and Brooke Hancock worked the high-low game for points. Kathryn Dick was perfect from the free throw line, and Jordan McDonald returned for the final minutes to knock down the three, but the Eagles went into the break down 25-19.
Even worse was to come in the third quarter as the Longhorns went on a tear, putting a 14-point gap on the Eagles. Only the three-point shooting of Jordan McDonald and Savannah Cardona kept SCA in the game.
But in the fourth quarter, the Eagles began to wear down their opponents. Kathryn Dick, Jordan McDonald and Hayden Hancock all blocked key Longhorn shots, and SCA held Payson to only four points in the final frame. Conversely, the distance shooting of Jordan McDonald and Savannah Cardona reeled in the deficit, and Hayden Hancock's tireless running against the press racked up points to complement the threes. Incredible scenes of hard work and body-up defense in the interior as well as tactical fouls on the perimeter prevented Payson from scoring inside, and the Eagles reveled in their two-point victory.
Join us on Monday, February 3 at 7:00PM as the Eagles travel across the valley to Glendale to face the Class 3A Crusaders of the Northwest Christian School.